Rwanda will, next month, host a three-day international Media and Gender Empowerment Conference.
According to the president of the Rwanda Journalists Association (ARJ), Gaspard Safari, the conference will dwell on progress African countries have made in mainstreaming gender in the media.
“There were many countries that applied to host this conference. Rwanda never applied but was nominated in absentia because of the level Rwanda is at in empowering women,” Safari said.
He added that the meeting would attract representatives of journalists’ unions and associations as well as strategic partners or organisations on the continent working in the area of gender, media, trade unionism, press freedom and development.
The conference, which is held annually is organised by the International Federation of Journalists.
“Although Rwanda is doing well in gender equality, we are performing poorly in the media. Currently, we have very few women leaders in the media,” Safari said.
He added that the participants will look at the role of financial institutions in promoting gender within the media.
According to the Editor of Contact FM Radio, Nelly Bazikamwe, some of the major setbacks that resulting in gender inequality within the newsrooms are mainly related to working hours, conditions and low salaries.
“There are many women who studied journalism but are not practicing because of the unfavorable conditions; the income of a journalist is still very low, and the working hours are long,” she said.
Bazikamwe added once all these issues are sorted out, the number of women in the media would automatically increase.
Other major participants include representatives and heads of the United Nations and the African Union.
Participants are expected to develop and adopt a three-year action plan for the promotion of equality through gender mainstreaming in the Journalists’ Trade Unions and the Media industry in Africa.
Also, a Pan African Gender Council made up of the gender coordinators from all the five regions in Africa will be set up. The Council will be made up 60 percent women and 40 percent men.